OAKLAND, California (AP):Golden State rolled into the second round of the NBA playoffs without injured superstar Stephen Curry, thoroughly embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday to clinch the series 4-1.Klay Thompson scored 27 points with seven 3-pointers and Draymond Green added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who will face the winners of the Los Angeles Clippers-Portland Trail Blazers series.Portland lead that series 3-2 after winning at Los Angeles, while Charlotte won narrowly at Miami to also take a 3-2 series lead.Golden State, without their MVP Curry, relied on his fellow ‘Splash Brother’ in Thompson to set the tone from the opening tip. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in consecutive playoff games, while Shaun Livingston scored 16 points for his third double-digit performance in three games.deep defendingJames Harden scored 25 of Houston’s 37 first-half points on the way to 35 points, but the Rockets had no chance with a one-man show against the deep defending champions.Portland’s C.J. McCollum scored 27 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 108-98 win at the Clippers.Damian Lillard added 16 of his 22 in the fourth quarter when Portland pulled away, and the Trail Blazers capitalised on the absence of injured Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to beat Los Angeles.The Blazers are up 3-2 and could close it out tonight in Portland. If Game 7 is needed, it would be tomorrow at Staples Center.Maurice Harkless added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 15 boards for Portland.J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 19 points.Charlotte’s Courtney Lee sank a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left to put the visitors ahead to stay, and the Hornets beat Miami 90-88 in Game 5.The Hornets have won three straight games in the series, and will take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher tonight.Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points, while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each had 14 for Charlotte.Dwyane Wade scored 25 for Miami, while Luol Deng scored 15, Joe Johnson added 13 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Hardik Pandya, who is currently playing his first Test at Galle against Sri Lanka, recalled that the first time he met Sachin Tendulkar, he was left completely starstruck.Pandya had a good debut outing in the Indian Premier League in 2015 with Mumbai Indians and in the first season itself he played a decisive innings of right-ball 21 against Chennai Super Kings to secure the victory for Mumbai, coming to bat when the team needed 30 runs from 2 overs.Overall, Pandya scored 112 runs from 9 matches that season, with 61 not out being his highest score.The all-rounder recalled his first day in the Mumbai Indians dressing room when he was eating and Sachin came up to him and greeted him.”I was eating and I suddenly heard a hi, he tapped me and greeted me. I turned around and look at him and the plate started slipping from my hands. I kept the plate aside and went into a corner and just kept looking at him while he greeted everyone. It took me 20-25 minutes to get out of that state,” Pandya said on ‘What the Duck’ with Vikram Sathaye.Pandya went on to say that even before he debuted for India in October 2016, Sachin had told him during his season IPL season that he will soon play for India.”As soon I went to him, he first said that you’re doing well. Then, he was like ‘I shouldn’t say this to you but I am doing so. The way you’re playing and the kind of potential and talent that you have, you’ll play for India in another one to one and a half years.advertisement”I called up Krunal and when my family came to know that Sachin sir had said that (will debut for India in a year or so) to me, the environment was such that it didn’t matter anymore if I would play for India or no,” Pandya said.The India all-rounder said that after Tendulkar had said that to him, he made his India debut just 5-6 months later.Pandya is an animated character on the field and just like his captain Virat Kohli, he wears his heart on the sleeve. When asked of his imfamous expression on the field, Pandya said that it just comes naturally to him.”That’s my personality, I can’t hide my expressions. Even when I am alone and something happens, it shows on my face. People think I am a drama queen, but it’s just natural to me,” Pandya told.The all-rounder got his first Test cap on July 26, 2017 for India’s first Test against Sri Lanka in the three-match series.He has impressed on his Test debut scoring a good half-century and picking up the wicket of Nuwan Pradeep in the first innings.